Oreo fans believe they’ve uncovered the latest and biggest scandal yet in “shrinkflation” — claiming that the creme-to-cookie ratio has been quietly shrinking in their favorite snack.
Louisiana resident Shane Ransonet told The Wall Street Journal that he and his wife, Christine, recently purchased a package of Oreos and noticed that the twin wafer cookies were sandwiched with just a thin smear of creme.
The couple thought they may have picked up a faulty package and decided to test Double Stuf Oreos this fall, which they usually bypass for having far too much filling.
When they pulled a Double Stuf Oreo out of the package, Ransonet said he recognized it immediately.
“Here we go, that’s the regular Oreo,” Ransonet, 47, told his wife, according to The Journal.
Sixty-year-old Nebraska resident Beverly Cooper, also noticed that the creme filling in the Double Stuf Oreos was downsized, she told The Journal.
“It’s a sign of the times,” Cooper said. “This is the way of the world now.”
Mondelez — the Chicago-based maker of the popular cookie sandwich — told The Journal that it’s tried a number of strategies recently to offset the rising costs of cocoa and sugar, such as offering fewer discounts and shrinking package sizes. But the company denied skimping on the creme filling.
“We would be shooting ourselves in the foot if we would start to play around with the quality,” said Mondelez CEO Dirk Van de Put, per The Journal.
The snack chief also blamed possible irregularities on manufacturing at individual cookie plants — although users on social media appear to disagree.
There’s an entire forum dedicated to the shrinkflation phenomenon on Reddit, r/shrinkflation, where its 101,000-plus users have posted about how their favorite products have been skimping out lately as prices have either stayed the same or ticked higher.
Among the top answers: Oreos.
“Oreos have way less cream now?” one user queried alongside a video opening a package of Oreos and splitting a cookie sandwich in half to expose a thin layer of creme described as “kinda lame.”
“Yes, less cream. The company should be fined for false advertising. The package photo no longer bears any resemblance to the product inside,” another Oreo fan commented on the video.
“Stop giving them your money,” another said, while yet another commenter suggested opting for Fudgee-O cookies instead, which is a similar chocolate-and-creme-filled cookie sandwich that’s also manufactured by Oreo-maker Mondelez.
Another post on r/shrinkflation posted by user Blue_Osiris1 pointed to how much the Family Size Double Stuf Oreo packages have literally shrunk.
The older, larger box of the beloved cookies says its net weight is 566 grams, while the newer, smaller package is only 530 grams, per the photo shared to the forum.
“It’s bad enough all these companies raise prices way above their increased production costs and blame inflation but now they’re selling us even less for the same already inflated prices,” Blue_Osiris1 said.
“Didn’t the cream cover nearly the whole Oreo before?” another asked alongside a photo of an Oreo cookie where a circular blob of creme does not fill the entire biscuit.
On X, someone called the Oreo shrinkflation scandal “Cookiegate.”
“Regular Oreos have filling equal to what would be in the Thin Oreos and Double Stuff have filling equal to what used to be in regular Oreos. RIP OFF! dont buy Oreos until they fix it,” another furious user posted to the social media site.
The Post has sought comment from Mondelez, the snacking giant that’s also behind Chips Ahoy, Ritz crackers, Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids.
Though the company has denied tampering with Oreos’ ratios in recent years, a New York high school math teacher spearheaded an Oreo filling-measuring effort in his classroom to crack the code of how regular, Double and Mega Stuf Oreos’ creme varied back in 2013.
His students found that Double Stuf Oreos did not have two times the amount of creme filling, according to The Journal, but rather just 1.86 times the amount of creme found in a regular Oreo.
Corporate giants such as McDonald’s and Chipotle have hiked prices to offset higher expenses – particularly for expensive items such as chicken and beef. Others, such as Domino’s and Burger King, have cut down on portions for some popular items.
Shrinkflation has also impacted consumer goods. Kleenex has cut down on the number of tissues included in its tissue boxes, while Chobani Flips yogurts dropped from 5.3 ounces to 4.5 ounces per container.
Inflation peaked at 9.1% in June 2022 — its fastest pace of increase since 1981, according to Consumer Price Index data. It’s since cooled to 3.7% in September, though the rate remains nearly double the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.
Meanwhile, October’s job report clocked 150,000 payroll gains, and a surprisingly resilient labor market has some worried that inflation could be more stubborn.
As for Oreos, while Mondelez has denied that the cookie’s creme filling has gotten skimpier in recent months, it has confirmed some of the other changes Oreo has undergone in its 111-year history.
In the 1990s, for example, Nabisco, which is now owned by Mondelez, removed lard from Oreo’s ingredient list and added vegetable oil in its place — a move that made the cookies kosher, according to The Journal.
And in the 2000s, Nabisco’s then-owner Kraft Foods removed trans fats from Oreos, which involved reformulating their creme, per the outlet.